asked Mar 3, 2004 at 11:34am
Epson Epson Stylus Photo 1200

Epson 1200 black only misalignment

Great site. Encouraging to find.

4 yr old Epson 1200, clean, gently used. After numerous cleaning cycles, windex treatments & fresh cartridges, colour test pattern is perfect, black is vertically misaligned.

I run utiilty but there's hardly any difference between the reference lines. They look more or less vertical but under magnification they're just scattered dots.

Pictures print with lines...text is legible but blurry edged and oversprayed.

Any ideas much appreciated.
The print head is partially clogged. You can try running the print head utility a few more times. Clean the print heads by performing a head cleaning followed by printing a nozzle check pattern. A head cleaning and nozzle check pattern must be performed as a cycle. After printing a nozzle check pattern, examine the printed dot pattern. Each staggered horizontal and straight vertical line should be complete, with no gaps in the dot pattern. If there are gaps in the dot pattern, continue with another cycle. Perform up to 3 cycles if necessary.

If that does not help then you can buy the print head cleaning kit from this site (this is what Epson uses and) and if you want to see what is involved in cleaning the print head using the kit this link will help If you would like to find out one reason why the print head clogged after changing the ink cartridge read this link if you want to really test the print output try printing the page from this link

Windex is really not the best thing to use. If you can't get the print head cleaning kit then only use warm distilled water it flush the print head. The epsonhelp link above descrides the process.

I hope this helps you out.

by unknown on Mar 3, 2004 at 11:47am Add comment
Thanks Wes.

On my last epson test pattern all the horizontal bars were complete but the spacing was funky. It wasn't a smooth 'staircase' like in the colour area.

That's why I thought it more of problem of alignment rather than clogging.

Come to think of it, the far right pink is also not perfectly spaced. Just printed epson website test pattern and all is fine except black and pink.

Any further thoughts? I'll sure try more cleaning but...
by unknown on Mar 3, 2004 at 12:23pm Add comment
Kennedy: Its possible that the underside area and backside area of the printhead assembly may also be dirty and causing problems. There can actually be a build-up of dust, dirt, lint and hair that sticks to the wet ink on the bottom side and backside areas of the Printhead Assembly. That build-up can partially clog or block the ink coming out of the Printhead Nozzles and sometimes even cause them to fire crooked. Once those two areas are thoughly cleaned, the problem will normally go away. Check for a couple of e-mails from me that may help in that area...Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Mar 3, 2004 at 12:27pm Add comment
Wes, Denny. Again thank you for your advice.

The bottom and backside of printhead assy clean as a whistle to the eye (squinting between various holes in the structure)

But test print out is still out of whack in black and pink. The 12 'steps' in the staircase look like there's been a mild quake and knocked them all out of sequence. They still descend left to right but in a jiggled manner.

Sorry to whine...
by unknown on Mar 3, 2004 at 2:32pm Add comment
You may need to get the adjustment program for the actual alignment if the regular adjustment does not help. But you will want the printed output to be as good as you can get it first.

Also the carriage guide shaft may be a little dry which will cause the alignemt to be a little off.

Here are a few links which may help.

For the carriage guide shaft:

To clean the face of the print head:

For the adjustment program & service manual:

I hope this helps.

by unknown on Mar 3, 2004 at 2:55pm Add comment
Wes. Thank you.

1) Relubricated the guide shaft with baby oil

2) Epson advised me to do the ROM reset. Did that.

Problem still present. A little better.

Again on the utility test pattern vertical alignment is off. The vertical black divider between colours is just a staggered scattering of dots.

What is the adjustment programme?
by Kennedy on Mar 3, 2004 at 4:33pm Add comment
The adjustment program is the program that printer techs use to adjust the printer. It has more options than what the standard utility that came with your printer has.

I had a Stylus Scan 2500 that I was working on that the owner could not get to align. I used the adjustment program and I was able to adjust the printer back to where it was supposed to be.

I do recommend you use the service manual when you use the adjustment program so you correctly adjust the printer.

You can get the service manual from here:

And the adjustment program from here: Both are free but you do need a unzipping program to unzip them.

You will need windows 95/98 to use the adjustment program and the program is a little difficult to use.

I hope this helps.

by unknown on Mar 3, 2004 at 4:56pm Add comment